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Last Updated: Wednesday, 02 June, 2004, 22:50 GMT 22:50 K.S.A  

"Wadies of Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah"

Waadi Al-'Aqeeq 

Waadi Al-'Aqeeq is one of the most famous of the wadies' of Madinah and possibly of all of the Hijaaz. Its water is collected from the area called An-Nuqi'a, which is more than one hundred kilometres distant, to the south of Madinah. Its course takes it to the environs of Madinah, where it reaches Mount 'Ayr. There, that section is called Al-'Aqeeq Al-Aqsaa (the Furthest Al-'Aqeeq). Its course then takes it west of Mount 'Ayr and past Dhul Hulaifah until it reaches Aqsaa (furthest) 'Ayr, where it inclines to the east and meets Wadi But'haan, near the Qiblatain area. It then orients slightly to the northeast and then directly north, where it meets Waadi Qunaah, which comes from the Zughaabah area, east of Madinah.

In the winter, Waadi Al-'Aqeeq flows like a big river. In years of increased rainfall, the water continues flowing for months. This is substantiated in historical writing which state that in some eras it was more like a permanent river, flowing continuously. As a result, many palatial homes were erected during the Al-Ummawi period on the land of its banks, to be accessible to the wadi due to the abundance of water. Their numbers were halved during the Al-'Abbaasi period, the number of structures never returning to equal those during the time of the heavy flow of rainwater. Of the most famous palaces on the banks of Waadi Al-'Aqeeq were those of Sa'ad bin Abi Wuqaas (some traces of which are still existing), 'Arwah Palace, the palace of Sukeenah bint Al-Hussain and many others. Some of the palaces surrounded by walls were adjacent to one another, others stood isolated. Similarly, agricultural activity was also established in the vicinity. Aside from the gardens of the palaces, fertile farms flourished which were covered in date palms, groves of trees, as well as various fruits and vegetables. Wide gullies of water were spread throughout the green area. This luminous period ended when Madinah declined and contracted during the third century hijrah, most of the palaces having being abandoned, fell into ruin.

Historic sources mention that the water by it shores was clear, like that of the wells excavated in the vicinity. Travellers to the area repaired to it, as well as some of the Madinans , to supply themselves with the water because of the intensity of its sweetness. Of the most famous of these wells was B'ir 'Arwah. The branch that begins at Mount 'Ayr and runs to Zughaabah is called Al-'Aqeeq Al-Adna (near). This part of it is in the Haram of Madinah.

It is reported in some hadith that Al-'Aqeeq is Waadi Mubaarak (Blessed Valley). Sahih Bukhari includes the statement of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him): “Al-'Aqeeq is Waadi Mubaarak”. Also included is the hadith with respect to 'Umar bin Al-Khattaab (Allah be pleased with him) , who said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) say, about Waadi Al-'Aqeeq" : " Grant me the forthcoming night from my Lord ", so he said, " Pray in this Waadi Al-'Aqeeq”. During the period of 'Umar bin Al-Khattaab (Allah be pleased with him), smooth pebbles from the land of Al-'Aqeeq were spread out on the floor the Prophet's Mosque.

Currently, buildings have spread in all directions of Al-'Aqeeq as far as Dhul Hulaifah. Its course continues to flow with water during times of torrential rains. It should be mentioned that in the Arabian Peninsula there are several wadies which carry the name Al-'Aqeeq, but the most famous is that of Madinah.

The word "Al-'Aqeeq" is derived from "Al-'Aq" and that is "Ash-Shaq" and it is possible that it had been called by this name. The wadi is designated by this name because its origin is a flood fissure in the earth and runs in its course.

Waadi But'haan

Waadi But'haan is one of the large wadies located in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah. Its origins stem from several different water courses. From it is a course that comes from the area of Dhi Hadr and runs to Qurbaan where it merges with other waadies. Waadi Raanoonaa' courses from it in the south of Madinah. Also stemming from it are Waadi Mudthaineeb and Waadi Mahzoor, both coming from east of Madinah. The latter two run northwest of the Prophet's Mosque in the As-Seeh District and then west to Mount Sila'a, extending in a slight zig-zag, meandering pattern to the Zughaabah area, wherein lies their junction.

It is perhaps called But'haan because the branch of it that courses through Madinah is level and smooth. In this area it is also referred to as Waadi Abu Jaidah, the name of which is ascribed to a man that was the owner of the land, or a portion of it, however nothing else is known about him. A number of years ago, its course had been covered over, beginning in the Qurbaan district

In one narrative from the Mother of the Believers, 'Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) say, ‘That But'haan is an eminent waterway from the waterways of Paradise’ ". In another version, that it is a sublime pool from the pools of Paradise. Another hadith from Thaabit bin Shamaas, states "that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) entered upon Thaabit bin Qais bin Shamaas (Allah be pleased with him) and he was ill and said {dispel the suffering from Thaabit bin Qais bin Shamaas, then took some earth from But'haan and placed it in a cup then spit water on it, and he lived} ".


Mahzoor is a waadi of Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah filled with water when there is torrential rainfall. Its water accumulates from areas which are at a distance of forty miles from Madinah. It enters Madinah from Harrah Waaqim (Al-Harrah Ash-Sharqiah - the Eastern Harrah) and progresses west with Waadi Mudthaineeb in the Qurbaan district, emptying into Waadi But'haan.

On the banks of Mahzoor lay farms of date palms and fertile groves. When the Jews arrived here, the tribe of Bani Quraidthah settled on a piece of land by Mahzoor. They built forts and strongholds, and established farms. In the time of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), some of the Companions disagreed as to the distribution of its water. They appealed to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) for a decision. He ruled that if the water reaches the ankles, it shouldn't be prevented from running to those of whom are close to it.

Historic sources mention that Waadi Mahzoor flowed so heavily during the Khulaafah of 'Uthmaan bin 'Affaan (Allah be pleased with him), that the people were afraid that Madinah would be inundated with it, so they altered its course by filling much of it with earth. In the year 156 A.H., the people were in fear that the Prophet's Mosque would be swept away. This prompted the Governor of Madinah, 'Abd As-Samad bin 'Ali bin 'Abdullah bin Al-'Abbaas to address the situation. An elderly woman from an eminent family showed them the old location of the course of the waadi. The people heeded, excavated the spot and found the wide channel, to which the flood entered and was diverted away to Waadi But'haan. It is clear that this was the course of the waadi to But'haan.

Waadi Mudthaineeb

Mudthaineeb is a waadi that is filled with water when the rainfall is heavy. Its origins are difficult to resolve (two big mountains opposite Mount Al-Aghawaat). It enters Harrah Waaqim (Al-Harrah Ash-Sharqiah) south of the Quraidthah district and orients toward the west with a slight bend to the north until it meets Wadi Mahzoor in the Qurbaan district.

When the Jews arrived here, they settled in the vicinity of Wadi Mudthaineeb, where they established fortresses and farms. They remained in the area until they were expelled from Madinah by the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him). The emigrant Muslims then resided there.

Waadi Qunaah

Waadi Qunaah is one of the large wadies which reach Madinah. It is reported that it begins its course in the mountains of Ta'if and that it gathers a number of wadies along the way, arriving in Madinah from the northeast. It passes south of Mount Uhud and proceeds west, bending a little to the north until it joins Waadi Al-'Aqeeq, at Zughaabah. It empties at the convergence of a number of watercourses.

Historic sources mention that great floods overflowed its banks a number of times causing the Madinans to fear that the city would be swept away. Some sources refer to it as the flood of Sayyednaa Hamzah as its path traversed the Uhud district. It is also mentioned that its course shifted in the east of Madinah, in the year 654 A.H., probably due to the huge climatic changes that had occurred during that year, which consisted of rains, earthquakes and the huge volcano that erupted in the direction of Harrah Waaqim. Waadi Qunaah overflowed and intimidated Madinah from the east. The lava which issued forth from the volcano, obstructed the course of the flood to Madinah. It veered to the north, gathering behind it a great lake which remained for a number of years, much of its water being subterranean in the farms. The course of the waadi ran to the north a little, and became distant from the residential areas, then continued on, south of Uhud. Its course remains that way today and flows when the rains are heavy.


This water course (waadi) has its origin in a mountain pass that is located south of Madinah, after Mount 'Ayr, its name being Muqmah or Muqman. It proceeds north until it enters the groves of Madinah, between Qubaa' and Al-'Awaali and extends north to the Qurbaan district. There is bends west until it meets the Qubaa' Road proceeding toward Madinah, where it runs parallel with it until it empties into Waadi But'haan, becoming part of it.

South of Qubaa', there are strong, old dams which had been built into its course to retain its water, forming a lake which would be of use in the dry months. Al-Samhoodi has mentioned in his book, "Wafaa' Al-Wifaa", that 'Abdullah bin 'Amru bin 'Uthmaan bin 'Affaan erected a dam in it. Professor 'Abd Al-'Qadoos Al-Ansaari stated that he found old inscriptions traceable to the period of the origin of Islam, mentioning the dam. It was also renovated during the Al-'Uthmaani Khulaafah, in the year 1289 A.H..

The Sa'udi government erected a new dam on it and linked the name Waadi Raanoonaa' with the Juma'ah Mosque, which was built near its old course, north of the Qubaa' Mosque, at a distance of approximately nine hundred metres. At the site of this mosque, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) prayed the first Juma'ah prayer in Islam, which was when he, as an emigrant reached Madinah.

The course of Waadi Raanoonaa' continues until the present day, with the exception of the portion that begins in the middle of Qurbaan, which is covered.

All the information above is taken from the web-site:

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